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  #11  
Old 12-20-2012, 12:21 PM
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Wow this thread degraded fast! Nice find!
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2012, 01:07 PM
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Yes, but seriously: where did you find it?
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2012, 01:09 PM
Scott6060842 Scott6060842 is offline
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I will be at the KSC on 12/30 ... I'll check the gift shop to see if they have anymore
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott6060842
I will be at the KSC on 12/30 ... I'll check the gift shop to see if they have anymore

While you are down there, check the schedule to see when the next manned launch from Complex 39 will be lifting off.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2012, 05:46 PM
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I'd say, IMHO, that is a rare find.

Indiana Jones would be proud!

Greg
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  #16  
Old 12-20-2012, 10:19 PM
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Well, geez guys, you folks are just useless!

I thought someone here would know SOMETHING about this kit!

Sorry for the delay in posting back. Most of my YORF time happens in the eves on the iPad after work while I'm doing sitting duties with my disabled parent or in the morning while getting her to eat breakfast before work. Sometimes her dementia behaviors allow little time for this stuff at either time of the day.

Seriously, thanks for at least making me feel a bit less ignorant, because I didn't know anything about this kit either. Then again, I'm much more of a Centuri collector/builder so I thought maybe this version of the kit was something I just simply missed out on back in the day and that someone here might be very familiar with this kit. Apparently not.

This kit box IS open and in general is in very good condition for a kit that is over forty years old. It was an ebay purchase about a month ago. I contacted the seller after I received the kit to see if they could tell me anything about the history of ownership of the kit. The seller, who was from a small town south of the Atlanta area, said they were handling it as a consignment sale for an estate. So, the original owner, whoever that might have been, is now deceased.

The seller did at least do a superb job of packing it for shipment over to me and it suffered no damage in shipment.

The parts inside the box are packed in a dense wad of shredded newspaper, a Sunday Denver Post. The newspaper shredded strips are roughly 1/8th to 1/4 inch wide, so it is hard to try to find any 'dated' info that might give some indication of the newspaper date. The only clue that I've been able to piece together from it is part of a movie ad for the movie "True Grit". That would put it sometime in '69 as I recall the year of that movie which I recall seeing as a kid at the now gone South Expressway Drive-In near Morrow, Georgia south of Atlanta, which is where I am from originally.

That so fat is about all I have been able to piece together on dating the kit itself, other than the fact that the box label is pre-Damon, which would date it, in general, before September of '69 which is when the Damon merger took place.

The kit parts seem to be the standard Estes Saturn V kit parts, but there are no motor mount tubes, centering rings for the stuffer tube, nor no parachutes or shock cords.

The instruction set is specific to this kit too and does not feature the Apollo 11 launch photo with Estes kit in the foreground that Vern made during the actual launch of Apollo 11 at KSC.

I will when I can post some photos of the kit contents and instruction sheets, but it may be a few days. I'm terribly behind on Christmas present purchases with little time remaining on the clock. But as soon as I can, I will post some other photos.

I've been meaning to drop Vern a line on some other stuff, though I have no 'formal' friendship with him other than I've been a rocket customer of his and he's been a video customer of mine. But, I'm hoping Vern might remember something about this kit.

My assumption at this point is that it was a 'custom' kit that Estes made for the KSC Visitor Center gift shop. But, it may have been an item that ultimately did not sell well at the time and, accordingly, very few were manufactured. Maybe even only one 'batch'. Who but possibly Vern would know? But since Vern was on hand for the launch of Apollo 11 and probably made other visits to KSC in the late 60s and early 70s, I would think he would probably remember at least SOME details behind this kit.

I am surprised however that NO one so far has even HEARD of this kit. Interesting.

Earl
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  #17  
Old 12-20-2012, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
The kit parts seem to be the standard Estes Saturn V kit parts, but there are no motor mount tubes, centering rings for the stuffer tube, nor no parachutes or shock cords.


With no centering rings, what keeps the BT-101 from deforming while handling? I take it that the third stage transition and the F-1 assembly are all that keeps the body tube round?
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  #18  
Old 12-20-2012, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Well, geez guys, you folks are just useless!

I thought someone here would know SOMETHING about this kit!

...

I've been meaning to drop Vern a line on some other stuff, though I have no 'formal' friendship with him other than I've been a rocket customer of his and he's been a video customer of mine. But, I'm hoping Vern might remember something about this kit.

My assumption at this point is that it was a 'custom' kit that Estes made for the KSC Visitor Center gift shop. But, it may have been an item that ultimately did not sell well at the time and, accordingly, very few were manufactured. Maybe even only one 'batch'. Who but possibly Vern would know? But since Vern was on hand for the launch of Apollo 11 and probably made other visits to KSC in the late 60s and early 70s, I would think he would probably remember at least SOME details behind this kit.

I am surprised however that NO one so far has even HEARD of this kit. Interesting.

Earl


Bill Simon ("Al_Packer") would be someone who should know about it. He's a member here, but apparently hasn't checked in for almost two years (1-1-11). It is said that Vern lurks here under an assumed name, but doesn't respond here. Carl could probably summon him. I've sent Vern email through the addresses on his web site but he's never answered.


I would assume that this was a test marketing item for Estes, sold through the one place where you could be assured of some demand. It may have indeed pre-dated the release of the flying kit, if only because they didn't have to do that pesky flight testing stuff. So it is possible that they could've had it in the gift shop at the time of the Apollo 11 launch.
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2012, 11:13 PM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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I know that Estes occasionally put together special lots of kits and models for promotions.

When I visited the Estes plant in 1990, there was a room where a bunch of ladies where brushing glue on the motor mounts of a simple kit. Our tour guide said it was a special order of some sort. Perhaps a sort of RTF or Almost RTF model, made for a specific client.
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  #20  
Old 12-20-2012, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
With no centering rings, what keeps the BT-101 from deforming while handling? I take it that the third stage transition and the F-1 assembly are all that keeps the body tube round?


You may be right. I'd have to go back and look at the parts and instructions again (I only had time to look through the box once and that has been several weeks ago).

But it did not have the standard full length stuffer tube and centering rings like what I am familiar with on the Centuri Saturn V, at least best I recall.

Earl
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